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In Defense of Flogging

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h_k_s
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Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by h_k_s » January 28th, 2019, 11:36 pm

Dorian wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 2:23 pm
Peter Moskos, a sociology professor at CUNY, wrote a book on incarceration in America titled In Defense of Flogging.

Readers are asked the following question: Imagine that you have been convicted of a crime and presented with the choice between serving a 10 years sentence in prison or being tied to a pole and given ten brutal lashes for your crime, which would you choose?

In the author's estimation, virtually everyone would choose the lashes over the prison sentence. I know that I would choose the lashes, and the small sample of acquaintances (n= 10 or so) felt the same way. This leads to two questions about our system of criminal justice:

1) Flogging is generally considered a brutal and inhumane form of punishment, but if people would prefer flogging to prison what does that tell us about how awful the prison system is?

2) Since, if given the option, people would choose to be flogged as an alternative to incarceration, then does it appear one can make a solid moral argument that flogging should be allowed as a form of punishment?

What do you all think?
Financially and economically supporting a prison system takes resources away from society.

In early colonial America it was not possible economically. So they flogged.

To enforce the law you must have a system of justice and punishments.

Flogging is as good as any punishment. It inflicts pain and scarring and it is limited in time.

Morally whether flogging is right or wrong depends on your options.

It is more wrong NOT to punish crime (and more stupid) than it is to flog.

So everything is relative in the sense of these value judgments.

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meaningful_products
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Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by meaningful_products » January 29th, 2019, 1:08 am

Athena,

I agree that people are brutalized in prisons. I don't think it is supposed to be that way. This puts an interesting spin on this issue altogether.

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LuckyR
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Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by LuckyR » January 29th, 2019, 3:28 am

athena wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 10:58 pm
LuckyR wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 2:14 am

The logic flaws in your post are accentuated if you substitute "wedgey" for "flogging". Of course convicts would prefet it: because it isn't much of a punishment and does less than zero to protect the community.
What evidence do you have that flogging does less than zero to protect the community? I would bet you are wrong. I would bet flogging is very effective in changing behavior.

I remember a few years back when an American youth was sentenced to flogging in China and there was an international uproar.
The 19-year-old American who was caned in Singapore for vandalism says the bleeding it caused was "like a bloody nose."

The teen-ager, Michael P. Fay, said in an interview on Saturday that the four strokes with a rattan cane on May 5 had left three dark-brown scars on his right buttock and four lines each about half an inch wide on his left buttock.
https://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/27/us/t ... scars.html
I think there is a lot of psychological impact to this. Not just on the person who is caned but the whole community. It is a clear statement that what was done was wrong and the community will not tolerate such behavior. That social agreement is important. I bet every time the young man thought of breaking a rule he thought of the caning and decided to follow the rules because the drive to protect ourselves from harm or pain is pretty strong.

Next, it is cost effective and far more humane than what we are doing today. Our prison system is costly, ineffective and inhumane. Preventing people from having jobs and housing for life because what is in a file, as is the case in the US today, is just wrong. In my opinion, a caning and getting on with one's life is better and I would like to see some research that proves this right or wrong.
Well, since prison isolates criminals a certain time away from society, that criminal will commit zero crimes against society during that time. Whether the criminal commits crimes afterwards is going to depend on either fear of punishment or rehabilitation. Prison, despite programs designed to rehab is known to have a low rehabilitation rate and also has a low deterance through fear rate.

Let's examine flogging in comparison. Flogging isolates criminals for days not years away from society (since it can be performed in an hour). So it loses there. It would have zero rehabilitation effect, which is lower than the admittedly low rehab rate of prison. You are supposing that a very high deterance rate would make up for both of these shortcomings. However the OP stipulated that flogging is overwhelmingly preferred by prisoners to prison, thus (if true) there's empirical evidence to the opposite.

Thus flogging (for the purposes of this thread) loses on all three measures (isolation, rehabilitation and deterance) when compared to prison.

As to my use of the wording "less than zero", I was specifically referring to the experience of corporal punishment of children, which is not known for teaching them anything beyond the lesson that violence is a reasonable tool to deal with problems.
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Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Alias » January 29th, 2019, 5:06 pm

athena wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 12:30 pm
I like what Scott said about alternatives such as rehabilitation and my favor restitution. I think although we are not flogging people we still do not have a correction system based on science and human concerns.
The central problem is not which punishment to use. A society that can't figure out its priorities and outcome expectations will screw up whatever system it chooses.
The idea of depriving wrongdoers of their freedom until they learn how to behave better is not a bad idea, especially if prison offers training in impulse-control, socialization and work skills. It's the grownup version of sending a child to his room and then having a calm discussion regarding how that encounter could have been handled better.
But the screwed-up society loses control of its prison system, punishes inappropriately and releases recidivists, addicts and psychopaths.

The same would happen with corporal punishment. Measured, competent, non-damaging physical punishment might work in some society*. It could become the norm, so that nobody was shocked or unduly humiliated by its administration. It would be the adult version of a routine spanking of children.
But the screwed-up society would carry it too far, become sadistic and slipshod, accidentally kill car-thieves, cripple coke-users, brand embezzlers, and generally make a mess of it.

And if cost is a major issue in justice and corrections, it's going to be a mess, no matter what method is used.

(* I don't think so. Aggression is a major obstacle to civilized social organization. Violence, physical or psychological, tends to enable aggression rather than curb it. Institutionalizing the violence of the strong would simply foster a culture of bullying. See private boy's schools and armies.)

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Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Arjen » January 29th, 2019, 6:07 pm

LuckyR wrote:
January 29th, 2019, 3:28 am
As to my use of the wording "less than zero", I was specifically referring to the experience of corporal punishment of children, which is not known for teaching them anything beyond the lesson that violence is a reasonable tool to deal with problems.
1) I am not advocating corporeal punishment of children.
2) It is true that children themselves use violence against eachother, that parents tell them not to do.
3) The little fights kids get into do teach them social lessons that parents tried to teach them, but that they never listened to.
4) No punishments for children is also not good. They will think nothing they do needs to change. Parents have to teach their children limits, after all. Without knowing limits, I think children turn into very bad people.
5) In extreme cases, parents do have to intervene with strength of body (still not saying corporeal punishment).
6) Some people just will not listen.

7) Question: When is there a point that corporeal punishment should be tried?
https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_an ... s-065.aspx

Is there such a point?
Can some people not be made to understand?

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Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Alias » January 29th, 2019, 9:32 pm

The only thing anyone learns from corporal punishment is that whoever is bigger gets to make the rules and whoever is smaller had better not break those rules.... or at least, better not get caught. Children of punitive parents learn to be very good liars; they grow into citizens of punitive societies and learn how to get around the law.
So, if you're small and weak, you will never get the upper hand, except through being smarter, or getting behind a protector.
And if the rules are such that normal human behaviour is a crime, you either live in constant fear or suffer.
Bully culture doesn't progress, because nobody dares to challenge the strong.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire

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Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by LuckyR » January 30th, 2019, 3:13 am

Arjen wrote:
January 29th, 2019, 6:07 pm
LuckyR wrote:
January 29th, 2019, 3:28 am
As to my use of the wording "less than zero", I was specifically referring to the experience of corporal punishment of children, which is not known for teaching them anything beyond the lesson that violence is a reasonable tool to deal with problems.
1) I am not advocating corporeal punishment of children.
2) It is true that children themselves use violence against eachother, that parents tell them not to do.
3) The little fights kids get into do teach them social lessons that parents tried to teach them, but that they never listened to.
4) No punishments for children is also not good. They will think nothing they do needs to change. Parents have to teach their children limits, after all. Without knowing limits, I think children turn into very bad people.
5) In extreme cases, parents do have to intervene with strength of body (still not saying corporeal punishment).
6) Some people just will not listen.

7) Question: When is there a point that corporeal punishment should be tried?
https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_an ... s-065.aspx

Is there such a point?
Can some people not be made to understand?
1- No one said you did, I was taking a known with respect to children and extrapolating it to adults.
2- Yes, but I was referring to adult behavior of children exposed to violence, not childhood behavior.
3- I didn't address this
4- Everyone agrees, but if you are implying that the options are corporal punishment and no punishment, you are very mistaken.
5- You are missing the point that appropriate non corporal parenting prevents such "extreme cases"' so no, corporal punishment can be 100% avoided.
6- True, if you miss the opportunity to raise children optimally as youngsters, teens can get out of control and it can be extremely difficult to discipline them at that point.
7- Again, an adult who resorts to physical disciple is acknowledging they are being outsmarted by a child.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Arjen » January 30th, 2019, 3:50 am

Hey Lucky, not so defensive, I was reasoning to come to the last question, more or less agreeing with you! :)

A small explanation:

1) Was a disclaimer.
2) I know, but it made me think of this.
3) I am taking it here as a consideration.
4) Yeah, I agree.....but that is where the question is going.
5) I still didn't say corporeal punishment. But I have seen teachers holding kids down by force. 3 for 1 kid one time. There was ample cause.
6) Or if they got into bad situations outside of the parents control.

7) It doesn't have to be. If bad things happened to a child for example in school.

The question I was raising was if there is a point that people just will not listen to reason anymore and need another kind of discipline. I have known people that got into multiple fights as young adults, when going drinking in the weekends. They needed the beatings to figure out they were doing something wrong. From this they learned. But that was not from a position of authority, but from an equal.

I was just putting it out there. I was worried someone would take it the wrong way, which is why I put (1) there as a disclaimer. :)
Especially young children should be kept out of violent situations. Even if it is only verbally violent.

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Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by athena » January 30th, 2019, 1:18 pm

Alias wrote:
January 29th, 2019, 5:06 pm
athena wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 12:30 pm
I like what Scott said about alternatives such as rehabilitation and my favor restitution. I think although we are not flogging people we still do not have a correction system based on science and human concerns.
The central problem is not which punishment to use. A society that can't figure out its priorities and outcome expectations will screw up whatever system it chooses.
The idea of depriving wrongdoers of their freedom until they learn how to behave better is not a bad idea, especially if prison offers training in impulse-control, socialization and work skills. It's the grownup version of sending a child to his room and then having a calm discussion regarding how that encounter could have been handled better.
But the screwed-up society loses control of its prison system, punishes inappropriately and releases recidivists, addicts and psychopaths.

The same would happen with corporal punishment. Measured, competent, non-damaging physical punishment might work in some society*. It could become the norm, so that nobody was shocked or unduly humiliated by its administration. It would be the adult version of a routine spanking of children.
But the screwed-up society would carry it too far, become sadistic and slipshod, accidentally kill car-thieves, cripple coke-users, brand embezzlers, and generally make a mess of it.

And if cost is a major issue in justice and corrections, it's going to be a mess, no matter what method is used.

(* I don't think so. Aggression is a major obstacle to civilized social organization. Violence, physical or psychological, tends to enable aggression rather than curb it. Institutionalizing the violence of the strong would simply foster a culture of bullying. See private boy's schools and armies.)
I like what you said about getting our priorities straight. I think the time and place for preventing crime is grade school and the problem is we are not willing to invest adequately in the safety and welfare of children. And in some cases, parents should have court-ordered counseling.

I believe correction of older persons is possible but that we are not willing to invest in it. I would like to see co-ed prisons. The Brits used Australia as a prison colony and they sent young females arrested for minor charges to civilize the men and that worked very well.

I would love to see facilities for mentally disturbed people reopened with the funding they have should have had in the first place. The horror stories of such facilities in the past were the result of overcrowding and underfunding. Putting this population into the prison system is completely unacceptable.

And I think we need to accept some people may need to be incarcerated for life. In such cases, their lives should be made pleasant. It is really sick to think disturbed people should be punished and mistreated for a lifetime.

But back to flogging. I bet the young man flogged in China for graffiti, never did that again, and that his punishment deterred others from doing that wrong. Depending on the crime and character of the offender, I think flogging can be cost-effective and that we are lying to ourselves when we think our prison system is not very inhumane.
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Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Eduk » January 30th, 2019, 1:33 pm

But the screwed-up society would carry it too far, become sadistic and slipshod, accidentally kill car-thieves, cripple coke-users, brand embezzlers, and generally make a mess of it.
And this is why we don't have corporal punishment.
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Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Alias » January 30th, 2019, 5:34 pm

athena wrote:
January 30th, 2019, 1:18 pm
I think the time and place for preventing crime is grade school and the problem is we are not willing to invest adequately in the safety and welfare of children. And in some cases, parents should have court-ordered counseling.
I'll raise -- lower? --- you six years and say it begins in the prenatal clinic. Mothers need to be safe and well nourished; babies need an environment without strife and anxiety, where they are exposed to intellectual stimulation and consistent example, receive positive reinforcement and are gently socialized. And of course, a future.
I believe correction of older persons is possible but that we are not willing to invest in it.
It all depends on what alternatives are presented to motivate them. If there is no hope, there is no point in making an effort.
What the specific methods should be I won't enumerate here: there are many good models to try; probably five or six different ones for different kinds of crime and personality.
Not sure I'm ready to contemplate throwing a few nubile shoplifters into an American maximum security prison, though. (But you have a point. Civilizing influences must be part of the regimen.)
I would love to see facilities for mentally disturbed people reopened with the funding they have should have had in the first place.
Absolutely! And addiction rehabilitation, and whatever else would help rebuild broken citizens.
Not breaking so many of our fellow citizens in the first place would be both preferable and cheaper.
And I think we need to accept some people may need to be incarcerated for life.
Maybe so. But beyond not mistreating such persons, I would also like to see them not given power over the other prisoners and the system.
But back to flogging. I bet the young man flogged in China for graffiti, never did that again, and that his punishment deterred others from doing that wrong.
Possibly. Unless the graffiti was a political protest, in which case his enmity toward the system is reinforced and his followers now regard him a hero.

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Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by LuckyR » January 31st, 2019, 3:06 am

Arjen wrote:
January 30th, 2019, 3:50 am
Hey Lucky, not so defensive, I was reasoning to come to the last question, more or less agreeing with you! :)

A small explanation:

1) Was a disclaimer.
2) I know, but it made me think of this.
3) I am taking it here as a consideration.
4) Yeah, I agree.....but that is where the question is going.
5) I still didn't say corporeal punishment. But I have seen teachers holding kids down by force. 3 for 1 kid one time. There was ample cause.
6) Or if they got into bad situations outside of the parents control.

7) It doesn't have to be. If bad things happened to a child for example in school.

The question I was raising was if there is a point that people just will not listen to reason anymore and need another kind of discipline. I have known people that got into multiple fights as young adults, when going drinking in the weekends. They needed the beatings to figure out they were doing something wrong. From this they learned. But that was not from a position of authority, but from an equal.

I was just putting it out there. I was worried someone would take it the wrong way, which is why I put (1) there as a disclaimer. :)
Especially young children should be kept out of violent situations. Even if it is only verbally violent.
Good point and I suppose an illustration of the difficulty of communicating nuance via text alone. I don't disagree that especially in the case of children avoiding violence is a good idea. Violence against adult prisoners gives society "punishment", but since those prisoners immediately go back on the street with zero rehad and more angry at authority, the likelihood of more future violent crime likely would be higher than the incarceration model.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Arjen » January 31st, 2019, 3:26 am

LuckyR wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 3:06 am
Good point and I suppose an illustration of the difficulty of communicating nuance via text alone. I don't disagree that especially in the case of children avoiding violence is a good idea. Violence against adult prisoners gives society "punishment", but since those prisoners immediately go back on the street with zero rehad and more angry at authority, the likelihood of more future violent crime likely would be higher than the incarceration model.
Yes, that is a good point.
But in some cases, can it be a good idea?

And is there a difference between a beating from a friend/peer and a beating from authority?

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